Board of Trustees Nominates New Leadership

The board will vote on nominees for chair, vice chair and secretary at its May meeting.

February 8, 2019

The George Washington University Board of Trustees on Friday announced nominees for its three leadership positions: Grace Speights for chair, Ellen Zane for reelection as vice chair and Ave Tucker for secretary.

“I am grateful for the dedication and support of each of our trustees and the guidance they provide in service to GW, especially those who assume leadership roles,” said Chair Nelson A. Carbonell Jr., B.S. ’85, who will conclude his 17 years of service to the board, including six years as chair, later this year.

Grace Speights, Ellen Zane, Ave Tucker

(From left to right: Grace Speights, Ellen Zane and Ave Tucker) 

Ms. Speights, J.D. ’82, a partner in Morgan Lewis’ Labor and Employment Practice, joined the board in 2013 and has served as secretary and member of the board’s Executive Committee since 2016. Ms. Speights is chair of the board’s Committee on Governance and Nominations and a member of the Subcommittee on Audit and Compliance. In 2018, The American Lawyer magazine named Ms. Speights Attorney of the Year.

“I welcome the opportunity to lead the board as we continue to provide our oversight duties in support of President [Thomas] LeBlanc and the university’s vision for preeminence as a comprehensive global research university,” said Ms. Speights, who would be GW’s first woman and first African-American board chair. “Chair Carbonell’s leadership has positioned the board and university for continued success and growth. This is such an exciting time for GW.”

Ms. Zane, B.A. ’73, CEO emeritus of Tufts Medical Center, has served on the board since 2010 and as the board’s vice chair since 2013. A nationally renowned health care leader, Ms. Zane also is chair of the board of the GW Medical Faculty Associates.

“GW is a special place, and I look forward to our work in the coming years and the opportunity to continue serving as the board’s vice chair,” Ms. Zane said.

Mr. Tucker, B.B.A. ’77, CEO and co-founder of TM Financial Forensics, LLC, joined the board in 2013, serves as chair of the Committee on Strategic Enrollment, and previously as chair of the Student Experience Task Force. Mr. Tucker attended GW on a baseball scholarship and remains a strong supporter of GW athletics.

“I look forward to continuing my role as a GW trustee and my work chairing the Committee on Strategic Enrollment. I am also excited about the opportunity to work closely with the other leaders of the Board of Trustees,” Mr. Tucker said.

The board has been planning for the leadership transition throughout the past year, Mr. Carbonell said.

In the fall, the board solicited recommendations and input for the leadership roles, and the Committee on Governance and Nominations recommended the trio of nominations at its meeting on Thursday. The board will elect the slate of officers at its May meeting, and the new leadership is effective beginning June 1.